Top 10 Tuesday – Favorite Tearjerkers

I’m starting to get bored with only reviewing books. And because there is so much to talk about as a bookie, I stole this idea from some Youtube book-bloggers. Every first Tuesday of the month, there’s going to be a Top 10 list of something or another. Since this blog is still pretty new  and belongs to me (me! me! me!), I’m deciding on the theme of this month’s list but once I’ve got a number of subscribers, I’m going to make it open to vote.

Also, what are your favorite books that make you cry without fail, every time you read them? Comment below if you agree with me or if I’ve missed a super tearjerker that I should read.

My first Top Ten Tuesday is on (drumroll)

TOP TEN TEARJEARKERS:

10. David Benioff – City of Thieves

Benioff’s name may ring a bell. He’s one of the writers on the Game of Thrones TV show and also wrote (book and screenplay) The 25th Hour, an amazing Edward Norton movie that you should go and watch right now. This novel of his is a very quick read that balances humor and sadness perfectly. Le0 and Kolya are incredibly lovable protagonists and war-ridden Russia is the perfect place for a tragic story to happen. David Benioff stole my heart with his story only to end up breaking it.

9. Christopher Moore – Lamb: The Gospel According to Biff, Christ’s Childhood Pal

Chris Moore is a funny writer so you wouldn’t expect to find him on a list like this. But this book is the story of Jesus – or Josh, as he is called here – and we all know how that ends, so some sadness is pre-programmed. Not being religious myself, I’ve never been touched by the story, or death, of Jesus. But Chris Moore managed to make me care for him as a character so much that his inevitable crucifixion tickled more than one tear out of me. Other than that: a hilarious read that I would recommend to any person of any creed.

8. John Irving – A Prayer for Owen Meany

If you start reading this book, you figure out pretty soon how it is likely going to end. Hell, Owen himself keeps telling you, unfailingly, throughout the novel. And while you can’t be sure until the very end (and I wasn’t), no matter how it ends, this book will leave you sad. Either because a very sad event happens in the story, or (I’m not telling!) simply because once you’re done with the book, there’s no more Owen Meany. He is one of the single most memorable characters I’ve ever had the pleasure of reading about and I hold him as dear to my heart as I would a friend.

7. Diana Gabaldon – Outlander/Cross Stitch

I don’t normally read romance novels but the time travel element made me pick this one up. It may be explained by my inexperience in this genre but I absolutely loved every second of it. There were scenes in this story – rather on the dramatic side – that made my heart stop for a moment. Some were so utterly sweet I wasn’t sure if I should put on my silly grin or roll my eyes. I usually ended up grinning. Which made it all the worse when something bad happened to the characters I’d grown to care about so much. Yes, definitely a bunch of moments that made me cry.

6. John Steinbeck – Of Mice and Men

I started reading this book on the train and by the end of the first chapter I knew I was going to bawl my eyes out. Steinbeck sets this story up so you know it can only end one of two ways. And either way will make you cry. So like a good polite little girl, I put the book back in my bag, waited patiently for my train to take me home, and read the rest in my room. Good choice because I did end up crying like a baby. The fact that Steinbeck managed to make me care so much for his characters on so few pages immediately made him jump into the list of my favorite authors. That’s some powerful writing.

5. Markus Zusak – The Book Thief

You pick up a book about World War II, you kind of expect it to be sad at some points. Even if the story’s hero makes it out alive, war always takes its toll. Now, Zusak makes his narrator (Death) cheat a little and tell us way ahead who is going to die. Knowing it was coming but not knowing when or how made it almost worse for me. It definitely didn’t prepare me and I was sobbing long after finishing the story. If you make your readers love your characters so much, you can’t be brutal like that, Mr. Zusak. This is a beautiful and unique book and as characters go, dead or alive, I will always love them.

4. Robin Hobb – The Liveship Traders

Robin Hobb must write with a magical pen that pours emotion into her stories. While I have managed to get through some of her books unscathed, at least one in each trilogy (of trilogies) has managed to make me cry as if my puppy had died. In this case, it was the ending of the second book – The Mad Ship – that had one particular scene that left me sobbing like a baby.

3. George R.R. Martin – A Storm of Swords

As gripping as the Song of Ice and Fire series may be, even when people get killed (and they get killed a LOT) I didn’t usually get emotional enough to actually cry. However, in the third instalment, so much happens and so much goes to shit. I didn’t know where to stop crying. The POV characters may all have their own problems and their own story lines going on but in this book, everything seemed to culminate. It is, to date, the most amazing fantasy book I’ve read and I beg you not to make me pick out any one scene that made me cry. There’s at least one for each character. Jon Snow, Jaime Lannister (rawr), Tyrion, Sansa, Dany, and even a bunch of side characters. That said, this was also the most enjoyable (as fun goes) in the series so far.

2. Stephen King – The Green Mile

Having seen the movie prior to reading the book should have prepared me. Yes, I also cried during the movie, but boy did Stephen King hit me right where it hurts. No spoilers, don’t worry, but if you read a story about death row, you kind of know what’s coming. It is his incredible ability to make me empathise with his characters, however, that makes it so unbearably sad. I remember not being able to continue reading because my eyes were so full of tears I couldn’t make out the letters on the page anymore. And King does this to me a lot, in The Green Mile it was just worst because… well it is a story about death row.

1. Robin Hobb – The Farseer Trilogy

It’s not just that Fitz, the first person narrator, bonds with animals and bad things happen – making somebody cry because a puppy is hurt or taken away from you is not a huge accomplishment – but it’s the sheer drama Robin Hobb puts her characters through. Watching Fitz get beaten and shunned and misunderstood and still get up every single time made me more than well up. I shed quite a number of tears reading these books. Even re-reads didn’t make me immune which is further proof of Hobb’s incredible talent and craft.


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